Cassava processing in Benin
A successful and socially responsible business model!
CASSAVA, A HIGH POTENTIAL PRODUCT
Cassava is a truly high value-added product. It has numerous and varied derivatives. For human nutrition, derivatives are cooked and grilled cassava, gari, tapioca, cassava chop, lafoun, agbelima, attieke, breadmaking flour, cassava alcohol, starch, cakes, cookies etc… Among those, the most marketed are gari, tapioca, cassava chop and lafoun. Both in Benin and Nigeria, these products are sold in jute bas or different sizes basins.
Cassava chop is an underexplored market in Benin. The same with cassava starch that is used in various industries like textile, pharmaceutical, food processing, wood or paper industries. The cassava starch industry is evaluated at 20 billion dollars. Benin could enter that market in order to diversify its export revenue sources.
Cassava peel is used for animal nutrition, but no official national figures are available on that last subject.
GARI PROCESSING INDUSTRY
The national consumption of gari per capita and per year, in Benin, is 126kgs. Gari is an equally national consumer product in Benin and Nigeria.
Therefore, the market potential is estimated at 24 millions tons per year.
The economic model that we are proposing local food processing entrepreneurs, is based on the following finding. Cassava processing into Gari, is an ancient practice, which occupies all the members of the farming community. Men and women in the fields grow and harvest leaves and roots.
Women ang young people process and sell in the local open-air markets.
Cassava being a long maturation (18 months average), it is seldom grown exclusively. It often complements the cultivation of corn or other local products.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP 2012) displayed yields of 17 tons per hectare.
In the proposed model, we offer to optimize tools and work conditions of women already organized in agricultural cooperatives. They regroup in teams of 20 women, and share one production unit (oven, a press, packaging material and storage space) with three other teams. Each production unit hence, works with 80 women, and processes approximately 33 tons of cassava per month.
One transformation unit is :
5985€ initial investment
80 direct permanent jobs
5 indirect jobs (Raw material collector)
33 tons of gari and/or tapioca processed
7,4 ha of land exploited
3270€ of gross revenue per month and 1149€ net revenue
That is, investment amortized in only 6 months.
So, for 1€ invested, the return on investment is 2,3€ in one year.
SUSTAINABLE CAPITALISM FOR ACTORS IN THE INDUSTRY
Gari transformation economic model in Benin, resolves several issues from social, societal, ecologic and economic stand point.
The artisanal technic of processing preserves tastes, tradition and local habits.
It enables keeping thousands of women, throughout the country, both occupied and paid.
These women, whether they support a family or not, generate a 31€ monthly revenue, literally 50% of the minimum legal revenue in the country.
The model supports the local economic ecosystem. This is, thanks to the numerous independent jobs that come with it, and destined to youth (Picking, transport, building and maintenance of production equipment, marketing, sales and distribution of manufactured products).
Cultivate, transform, valorize and sell a local product, with local solutions, for a local market, with a strong financial return, it is possible!